Reid Health donates historic building to Western Wayne Heritage
Nov. 10, 2022 -- A two-story brick building in Cambridge City that dates to the days of the Whitewater Canal will be preserved for generations to come thanks to Reid Health's donation of the property to a local historical organization.
Reid recently donated the building at 1 E. Church St. to Western Wayne Heritage. Among many other uses, the facility last served as home to the practice of James Bertsch, DO, before the opening of Reid Health Primary & Specialty Care - Cambridge City in 2020.
The building sits in the town's historic district and is a significant structure, according to Dr. Bertsch, who serves as president of Western Wayne Heritage.
"It was used as a warehouse starting in about 1847," Dr. Bertsch said. "What we see there now is exactly what it was, three or four bricks thick and two stories tall.
"This donation is greatly appreciated. So many older buildings have been demolished and now 1 E. Church St. is safe for the foreseeable future. This is an overwhelming gift to our group and the Western Wayne area. We will be forever grateful to Reid Health for its continued support."
Originally a warehouse for goods coming along the Whitewater Canal, the building had been a part of Dr. Bertsch's family for decades, serving at times as a foundry for making farm equipment, a Chevrolet dealership, a pattern shop, a wood shop, and other purposes over the years before becoming the Bertschland Family Practice Clinic in 1989.
"This donation is greatly appreciated. So many older buildings have been demolished and now 1 E. Church St. is safe for the foreseeable future. This is an overwhelming gift to our group and the Western Wayne area. We will be forever grateful to Reid Health for its continued support." -- James Bertsch, DO, President of Western Wayne Heritage
Dr. Bertsch sold the property to Reid in 2013.
"The celebration of significant historic structures is important to the community and highlights the critical role this building played in supporting this region. We are very pleased to return this piece of history and heritage to the community so it can be preserved, enjoyed, and continue to serve the town in new ways," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO.
Plans for what comes next for the property haven't been determined yet. Dr. Bertsch said Western Wayne Heritage will look into how the site might be able to help meet the needs of the community.
"Part of our vision as an organization is to be a trusted partner that helps the communities we serve to thrive," said Tom Hilkert, Chair of the Reid Health Governing Board. "We're thrilled to see this piece of Cambridge City history be put in the hands of those who will ensure it maintains its historical significance."